MBG Issue #165: Phantom Curiously Floating

Issue # 165

Phantom Curiously Floating

March 18, 2011

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Christian Marclay, Still from The Clock, 2010, single-channel video, 24 hours. ©Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. (detail)

from the editor

It’s no secret that I’m an amateur astrology buff. So it’s no coincidence that the title of this week’s issue of ...mbg, plucked from Mike Osborne’s textual collage review of Christian Marclay’s The Clock, features a quote from poet Walt Whitman—who shares my birthday. The phrase comes from “Sparkles from the Wheel,” part of his literary masterwork Leaves of Grass. In the poem, Whitman fancies himself a sort of American flâneur, “effusing and fluid—a phantom curiously floating” among the crowd bustling along the city street.

I found this evocation especially poignant when reflecting upon the events over the past few weeks in Austin. In very sad news, UT Professor Emeritus Kelly Fearing, celebrated artist and art educator, passed away at age 92 on March 13th in Austin. Fearing began his mature career when he moved to Fort Worth in 1943. There, he joined a daring group of artists embracing abstraction and surrealism that would later be known as the Fort Worth Circle. He began teaching in the budding UT Austin art department in 1947, retired in 1987, and remained an active fixture in Austin’s community until his death. American-Statesman writer Jeanne Claire van Ryzin’s touching tribute to the artist can be found here and Gaile Robinson of the Star-Telegram shares her thoughts here. For those who are curious to learn more about the scope of his work, Madeline Irvine’s 2009 review of Fearing’s retrospective mounted at the University of Texas’ Bass Concert Hall is a wonderful read. A memorial service honoring the artist’s life and work will be held at the Austin Museum of Art - Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th Street, from 5-7pm on April 23.

In related University of Texas news, the Department of Art and Art History announced its search for a new Department Chair, appointment effective from the start of the 2011-12 academic year. The position is currently occupied by John A. Yancey. A detailed description of the position opening can be found on The Chronicle of Higher Education. The search will be chaired by Ann Reynolds, Associate Professor in the Department of Art and Art History and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. We look forward to bringing you further developments.

In broader art news, Austin is gearing up for some stimulating cultural debate in the coming weeks—and I’m not just talking about the gossipy aftermath of the music, film and interactive arts festival SXSW. In our previous issue of …mbg, Claire Ruud wrote an incisive review of Michelle Handelman’s queer-themed video piece Dorian, a cinematic perfume that is currently on view at Arthouse. This weekend, a powerful article by Noah Simblist appeared on Glasstire that blew the lid off the politics of display surrounding this work. Dorian’s queer-themed content, Simblist writes, was reportedly considered “lewd and pornographic” by a board member, leading to institutional self-censorship. The work has presented with disclaimers, has been subject to restricted screening times, or even shut off completely while the museum is open to the public. Simblist argues passionately for a rigorous reflection on these policies of silencing queer and sexually provocative work, and for a larger cultural conversation:

“…Austin is growing into a nationally recognized urban center and a magnet for those interested not only in new forms of music and film but also contemporary art. But as Austin comes of age it must also recognize that bricks and mortar are not enough. It must also develop the sophistication to deal with difficult issues in an open and transparent way. Arthouse will start this process with a panel discussion on March 24 about Handelman’s piece and the issues of queer sexuality and censorship that it brings up.”

Along with Arthouse’s Associate Director Elizabeth Dunbar, Simblist has organized the panel discussion “Inflammatory Images and the Politics of Sex”. It will be held next Thursday at 6:30pm at Arthouse. Along with Simblist, panelists include Michelle Handelman, Andy Campbell, Ann Reynolds, Rose Reyes and kt shorb. Dunbar will moderate.

As a follow-up to the panel, …mbg will feature a text by Michelle Handelman in our April 1st Artist’s Space. As always, we encourage feedback from our readers. Do you think that all artwork is appropriate for all ages of viewers? Do you see the Arthouse censorship controversy as indicative of a larger trend of cultural conservatism? We urge you to participate in the conversation on March 24th, and in the meantime, to reply with a comment sharing your views.

Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.

Editor’s note: We wish to acknowledge and correct a factual error that was printed in our interview with Peter Doroshenko on November 12, 2010. In the interview, it was stated that Sturtevant had never been the subject of a major survey exhibition in the U.S. In fact, Sturtevant’s comprehensive museum exhibition, Sturtevant: The Brutal Truth, which was originally organized by Udo Kittleman and Mario Kramer for the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, traveled to the MIT List Center in 2005. The interview text has been modified to reflect this information.


Sarah Stevens
Co-Lab, Austin
Through March 26

By Allison Myers

Sarah Stevens, Palatial Hemorrhages, 2011, Mixed media installation. Courtesy of the artist.

Sarah Stevens’ recent Co-Lab installation, Partial Hemorrhages, has all the appearances of a girly ‘80s sleepover gone awry. Sheets of mylar with neon pink and yellow paint cover the walls, while fluorescent make-up bags, silly string, magazines and found pieces of consumer detritus clump in the corners and walkways. Sometimes the bits and pieces become so entangled with each other that they seem on the verge of exploding out, à la Nickelodeon’s Aggro Crag, in a shimmery blast of glitter and confetti.

Stevens has a way of making sensory overload seem natural, even inhabitable, and the visual effect is often striking. On the whole, however, the installation is a little too sparse. Though the small moments pack a punch, the work lacks the encompassing all-over appeal of many aestheticized environments—Yayoi Kusama’s work with pattern and mirrors comes to mind, or more recently, Jessica Stockholder’s colorful, built-up installations.

Stevens’ multi-media installation The Staypuft Harbinger worked in a way that Partial Hemorrhages fails. Staypuft served as Co-Lab’s inaugural exhibition in 2008, and marked the transformation of the space from Stevens’ studio to Sean Gaulager’s gallery. It was a collage two years in the making, and as an ongoing studio installation, it afforded Stevens the chance to fully explore the detail-heavy work she’s so good at. Partial Hemorrhages, on the other hand, feels rushed and lacks the meaty layers of the earlier work. Instead of thick strata of colorful, collaged objects it stays largely within a single-dimension, giving it less punch than its predecessor. Luckily, however, Stevens has conceived the work as a four-part cycle, in which she will reconfigure and rework the current arrangement. It’s possible that the first show’s sparseness served as a basic ground layer for the next manifestations—but it would have been more exciting to see it start with a bang, and get even bigger.

Beyond the visual impact of the work, the history of Stevens’ involvement with the space brings forth a stimulating second layer to the piece. Talking with the artist at the opening, she pointed out the visible quirks of the gallery: the open insulation her friend hung still serves as the gallery’s ceiling, and even now you can see patches of her studio’s yellow paint peeking out under the gallery’s white walls. At the risk of sounding sentimental, it was very charming. Her work is wrapped up in the history of the space and these tiny stories make her installation ring with personal narrative.

I’d like to see these personal traces incorporated more fully into the next cycle of the installation. In any case, it will be fun to see how Stevens adjusts and manipulates the environment. It’s rare to be able to see this kind of labor-intensive process in action. I recommend you follow along. The next openings are March 19 and 26, both from 7-11 pm.

Allison Myers is pursuing her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Texas Austin.

New Image Sculpture
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Through May 8

By Wendy Atwell

New Image Sculpture (exhibition view).

The first gallery of New Image Sculpture evokes the set of a Monty Python movie. The work of Okay Mountain, an Austin-based collective of ten artists, fuses medieval torture methods with exercise equipment in Stationary Machine, Multi-station Machine, and Dragging Rock (all 2011), made from dark, rough-hewn wooden beams, rope, lead, leather, hardware and steel. This Pythonesque humor, both surreal and absurd, pervades New Image Sculpture at the McNay, which includes a papier-mâché psychiatrist’s office, an elegant but useless chandelier sculpted from polystyrene, a life-sized ceramic replica of a John Deere tractor, and a trompe l’oeil painted trash bin. Through the artists’ choice of media and subject matter, these sculptures don’t so much mimic as mock reality, or transform it from mundane to discomfiting. Throughout the exhibition, a post-apocalyptic atmosphere and a sense of civilization existing on the precipice arrest any blithe enjoyment of art for art’s sake.

The exhibition features thirteen contemporary artists and is organized by René Paul Barilleaux, the McNay’s Chief Curator and Curator of Art after 1945, with an accompanying catalog featuring guest essayist Eleanor Heartney. In his introduction, Barilleaux explains that the show’s title is adapted from a 1978 exhibition at the Whitney Museum entitled New Image Painting, curated by Richard Marshall. Marshall wrote that the paintings’ recognizable subject matter that “the image becomes released from that which it is representing.” According to Barilleaux, this release from signification may also be applied to the sculpture in the exhibition. With poststructuralist thought came the destabilization of meaning and the death of the author, muddying the supposed transparency of representative images. When Richard Prince re-photographed advertising images, such as Marlboro cowboys, the effect was to expose the mechanisms at work behind the myth. New Image Sculpture takes this a step further, where two-dimensional images are not just appropriated, but are cleverly recreated in the round.

Heartney works from a definition of art inspired by Arthur Danto’s meditations on Andy Warhol’s Brillo Boxes. As she writes in her catalogue essay, “Something becomes art when it contributes to the ongoing discussion about art’s place in the world and the way it shapes our understanding of the meanings and purpose of life.” Exactly how these meanings get parsed out varies widely, and the art reflects this disparity, ranging from installation-based, conceptually driven works to sculptural objects with formalist roots.

The art in New Image Sculpture shares a compulsive, manic energy, as if the artists return to their practice in an almost neurotic manner. Kiel Johnson fabricates a survival vest from cardboard. Kaz Oshiro successfully tricks the eye as he replicates, with paint and canvas, a trashcan, guitar amp and laminated cabinet. Kevin Landers works from memory to make by hand a chip rack and case of watches. The handmade quality of Landers’ reproductions endows the work with poignancy like in the TV show Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer’s “Island of Misfit Toys,” the home of objects that fall short of the dreams they are supposed to fulfill.

This melancholy differs from the work of Libby Black, who also works by hand to reproduce luxury objects from paper, paint and hot glue. Prada, Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton labels flag the viewer’s eye, while simultaneously sending up the shallowness of their status symbol qualities. With her colorful pastiches Black hilariously exposes how retailers exploit unfulfilled desires, the sculptures’ vapidness rendering the branding as fruitless and ineffective as a broken toy.

In I Was Going to Make a Model of the Earth But it Won’t Stop Moving (2011), Mark Schatz creates haunting futuristic images of civilization. Installed just above eye level, white iceberg forms carved from foam are topped with model train-sized foliage, cities and plane crashes.

Dennis Harper and Tom Burckhardt satirize the art world’s seriousness and the over-inflated egos it produces. Burckhardt creates amalgamations of slumped paintings, crates and paint cans made from enamel paint on Variform, cardboard and wood. In Harper’s The Japanese didn’t think much of me at first, and they never liked my films (2011), Harper mimes an interview of a famed Japanese filmmaker purportedly based on Akira Kurosawa. Wearing a hat and black paper glasses, Harper plays the filmmaker speaking with an offscreen interviewer who speaks with a funny-accented, garbled voice, a little like the adults in a Snoopy cartoon. A gigantic foam board and paper film camera sits on a podium nearby, riffing on the aura and mythmaking of renowned auteurs.

The power of the works in this exhibition stems from complete absurdity, when the humor is so deadpan that the viewer is almost tricked into thinking it’s the real Chanel box or a real documentary. These techniques bring to light the viewer’s trained responses to images and inspire a critical reexamination of what’s normally taken for granted. Yet while irony reigned as the overriding mechanism in poststructuralist days, this work uses ruthless satire. Instead of the dullness of ‘80s appropriations, these sculptures are lively, imaginative, and strangely authentic.

Wendy Atwell received her M.A. in Art History and Criticism from The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Jim Nolan
Art Palace, Houston
Through April 2

By Wendy Vogel

Jim Nolan, There Was No Encore/Feedback, 2011, Sound Collage with Found Speakers, Wood, Electronic Components, Artificial Flowers, 58 minute loop, 6 x 8 x 4 feet. Courtesy of the artist.

The Minutemen’s Mike Watt was once asked why his band wasn’t more radio-friendly. He replied, “We don’t write songs, we write rivers.” Although their punk songs were brief and punchy—like those of their SST labelmates Black Flag, they often clocked in under the one-minute mark—the Minutemen’s whole was greater than the sum of its parts. Underlying their sound was a message and approach of blue-collar political consciousness, nerdy autodidacticism, inside jokes, and fierce and feral experimentation. The work in Jim Nolan’s debut show at Art Palace, Today is Tomorrow, resonates in much the same way.

Nolan freely combines references from the history of modernism, commercial kitsch and obsolete technology with a punk rock spirit. Although it sounds like a simple way of working, it isn’t. The chance of creating facile one-liners with assemblage is high. Nolan counteracts this potential smugness by giving a knowing wink to the way that both punk rock and minimalism have borrowed freely from blue-collar materials and ethics. In the mailer for Today is Tomorrow (not a technical artwork in the show, but a peripheral visual material that operates in the same way that concert posters do) Nolan is photographed from behind chopping what looks like a pile of wood. While giving the impression of heroic Minimalism circa Richard Serra’s Throwing Lead, the pose and typeface almost exactly emulate the cover of the Clash’s London Calling. Nolan coyly pokes fun at masculine archetypes while still giving his best performance in his visual “cover.”

Not surprisingly, the only floorbound sculpture in the main gallery, ThisIsBobDylanToMe, is titled after a line from the Minutemen’s “History Lesson Part II.” Opaque on its own, this piece serves as a key to Nolan’s visual language. Cheap fake flowers, with the tag still prominently displayed, are wedged under a blocky geometric cutout on top of a chipboard stool of a decidedly dainty design. Schlocky decor also figures in MaybePartyingWillHelp/Bucket, an update of Rauschenberg’s Bed where a patterned tablecloth, housepaint bucket-as-table and faux flowers are tacked to the wall. Elsewhere, improvised yet delicate touches heighten Nolan’s juxtapositions. Lavender spraypaint “zips” across a horizontal bar that holds three empty plastic bodega bags adorned with flowers. He even offers his take on the gestural monochrome in the simply titled Palisades Paintings, where a photograph of a scribbled-out bathroom window at a highway reststop is printed on canvas in brown, red, yellow and blue inks.

Like albums for music snobs who accrue “cred” through an exhaustive knowledge of references, Nolan’s work appreciates in value for a self-selecting knowledgeable art audience. But its economic formal play stands on its own, much like in the Minutemen’s mini-manifesto “Do You Want New Wave or Do You Want the Truth?” A jangly, impressionistic riff plays under a short spoken piece that skewers monolithic modernism and too-cool-for-school irony: “Should a word have two meanings? / What the fuck for? / Should words serve the truth?” It’s their brand of postmodern ambivalence that, twenty-seven years later, seems ripe for revision in Nolan’s work.

Wendy Vogel is Editor of ...might be good.

Ruth Claxon, Amy Cutler, and Runa Islam
SITE Santa Fe
Through May 15

By Nancy Zastudil

Amy Cutler, Viragos, 2003, Gouache on paper, 19 ½ x 41 ½ inches. Courtesy of Leslie Tonkonow.

SITE Santa Fe presents three solo exhibitions from three female artists focused on the human figure in the act of looking and narrative creation. Our relationship as viewers to the characters in these exhibitions is revealed primarily through our expectations and perceived realities. Seduced by the artists’ composition, color and detail, we recognize the activities taking place, but it is our own fancies that provide answers for the how and why of the scenarios.

Amy Cutler adorns the front gallery with gouache-on-paper illustrations that depict groups—mostly women—engaged in laborious activities. The images reflect tall tales of big plans and heavy burdens as characters mirror each other in dress, posturing and expressions to demonstrate peculiar moments associated with collective tedious tasks. For example, women with beaver-like teeth and floating braids swim up and down stream to gather logs, sticks, and twigs (Castoroide Colony, 2003). Somewhere, ladies clad in brightly patterned aprons string smaller aprons throughout a forest of naked tree trunks, save their patchwork tree skirts (Cautionary Trail, 2005). Elsewhere, fancily dressed women facilitate the carrying of birdcages and adornments through the use of horizontally extended pigtails (Viragos, 2003). In contrast to the detailed patterns and textures of her figures, Cutler’s images exist on expansive stark white backgrounds which fill the space, so to speak, of an absent narrator. As a viewer, I remained curious about where these characters originated and what their futures hold.

Ruth Claxton’s Synthetic Worlds (2010-11) runs the length of the back gallery, creating a floor-to-ceiling labyrinth of grey metal hoops, armatures, colored and mirrored disks. Many of these sculptural apparatuses double as individual platforms for mass-produced kitsch ceramic figurines that the artist has modified. She obstructs their ability to “see” by covering the head of each figurine in irregular hand-blown glass or mixed-media orbs, or by inserting cascading thin, colorful threads of material into the eye sockets. Claxton’s considerations of space and proportion allow viewers to move in and out of the labyrinth while large “blinded” bird figurines observe from high corners of the gallery. Mirrors open up the possibilities of perspective, allowing views of the ceiling and floor on the same plane, from odd angles and around corners. In her alterations of inanimate objects, Claxton’s work produces a twofold sensual, human response. We recognize the figurines as blissful in spite of their altered physical nature and obstructed sight; at the same time, we stand looking at them and are left wondering what they see that we don’t.

Ruth Islam fills the side gallery with three ambiguously narrative films based on avant-garde techniques and history that concentrate on formal aspects of filmmaking and the cinematic viewing experience. At the time of this review, her one-channel piece The Restless Subject (2008) was out of order, painfully highlighting a major difficulty of working with 16- and 35mm film and disrupting Islam’s intentional holistic sequence of a one, two and three-channel installation. What is a Thought Experiment, Anyhow? (2007), a two-channel film installation, presents one screen of images of colorful balloons floating through a museum-like space of classical sculptures. The balloons hover and drift, then find rest in the negative spaces of the room and sculptures (in armpits, the nook between a shoulder and neck and finally, the floor). A second smaller screen, off to the side, closely frames a group of people in a grey room with strong shadows, attempting to keep the balloons floating in the air. Islam’s three-channel piece How Far to Fårö (2004-05) encourages viewers to engross themselves in formal considerations of the film through structural aspects. Screens presented at opposing angles present two separate visual “storylines”—a ferry traveling toward Fårö and a film crew making their way through a forest.

In such close proximity to Cutler and Claxton, Islam’s exhibition hits hard and falls flat with dubious connections between characters and locations, coupled with dead-end pursuits between film and viewer. Her presentation of the relationships between imagery and medium remains behind a veil of avant-garde film theory. Cutler and Claxton, by contrast, present the power of the image (both rendered and reflected) as provocative and accessible. As implied by SITE curators, there is a strong visual resonance amongst the three exhibitions through the “employment of similar motifs.” In this case, however, juxtaposition works to the detriment of each exhibition by forcing relationships and loose visual connections while thwarting an appreciation of each of their own distinct terms, mediums and histories.

Nancy Zastudil is an itinerant curator and freelance writer. She is co-founder of PLAND, an off-the-residency program set in the context of the Taos mesa; co-founder of Slab, an exhibition method that collaboratively facilitates artists’ projects and events; and managing editor of the art journal 127 Prince.

Christian Marclay
Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
Closed February 19

By Mike Osborne

Christian Marclay, The Clock, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY (1/21- 2/19/11). ©Christian Marclay. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York.

The Clock is a montage of clips from several thousand films, structured so that the resulting artwork always conveys the correct time, minute by minute, in the time zone in which it is being exhibited. [1] A metaphysical tour de force of untethered meaning and involuting interlocking contrapuntal rhythms, The Clock is more than a movie or even a work of art. It is so strange and other-ish that it becomes a stream-of-consciousness algorithm unto itself—something almost inhuman. [2] Watching The Clock, I found myself wondering if Mr. Marclay has a computer for a brain. [3]

Your sense of time is ordinarily the first thing you surrender when watching a film. But, here, film keeps banging it back at you, perfumed by sound editing that may bleed music from one scene into the next. [4] You might think that being made constantly aware of each minute would make time pass exceedingly slowly. In fact, the opposite is true. The work proves hypnotic, and time races by. [5]

And there are, of course, clocks galore. This includes clocks of the wall, mantel, grandfather and bedside-table variety; clocks on steeples, towers, dashboards and bombs; and clocks in train stations, shop windows and spaceships as well as the occasional hourglass and sundial. [6] It is hard to say why this panoply of timepieces and plot twists is so gripping, but it is. [7]

Speaking of which: The Clock is really no different from any other Marclay stitch-job. If you loved Marclay and his editors in Video Quartet (2002), in which they edited together clips from over 700 films of people playing or singing music, you’ll love them in The Clock. If you loved Marclay’s rat-a-tat style in Crossfire (2007), in which movie clips of gunshots ring out as you stand in between a four-screen installation, then you’ll want to see The Clock again and again. The only real difference with The Clock is that it runs for 24 hours, a handy mix of gimmick and conceptual veneer. [8]

But blah blah. This is enjoyable art. I tried to think of something more insightful to say, but couldn’t…. Someone will bring up Douglas Gordon’s 24 Hour Psycho, right? [9] Andy Warhol's Empire is an eight-hour, silent, static view of the famous Manhattan skyscraper; Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho is a slowed-down version of Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 Hollywood thriller. [10] Christian Marclay is to Andy Warhol or John Baldessari what Vanilla Ice was to Chuck D, Queen and David Bowie. Vanilla Ice added shiny parachute pants; Marclay adds Final Cut Pro. [11]

There were plenty of moments of humor, some pristine and others contrived via juxtaposition. [12] It sounds horribly complicated and postmodern, but you quickly get the hang of it…. [13]

At 6:50 a.m., my wife and I walk into the half-full Paula Cooper Gallery. I see couples canoodling on couches, a few people asleep, and scattered junk on the floor: beer cans, popcorn, candy wrappers, a few bourbon bottles. Someone nearby is snoring. It reminds me of Chelsea in the days when sex mattered more than the art business. [14] Nostalgia cascades. [15]

Once when I was there, the gallery was closing for the day. Everyone knew it was going to close but stayed glued to their seats while 6:00 came, then 6:01…6:02...6:03. At 6:04 the gallery assistants came into the room and started moving about apologetically and gently turning up the lights, as if it was the end of yoga class and we were all still in savasana. [16]

My feeling is that there has to be something more that makes people as passionate about The Clock as they apparently are. And this probably comes back to the fact that it is an artwork about time. More and more, people are over-stimulated, overfed on information, constantly jumping on to the next thing, and therefore trapped in a universe of racing thoughts and molecular instants where nothing seems to connect to anything else…. [17]

I thought of Walt Whitman, who wrote of being “a phantom curiously floating.” [18] Every action I saw that Sunday morning—every dog walker, jogger, person hurrying to breakfast, coming out a subway, or going to church—seemed less individualistic and more entangled in a built-in, beyond-our-control, deeply cosmic structure. [19]

That's my best guess about the phenomenon…. I did not actually get in to see The Clock…. I didn’t see it, so I can’t really say anything about the experience…. The way they work us around here, I was too busy to … experience The Clock myself. I had to rush back to the office, and on to other things. [20]

The Clock runs on an eternal loop, with no beginning or end. [21]

This review is a collage that draws on a variety of sources.

1. "Slave to the Rhythm," The Economist
2. "Jerry Saltz on the Best Movie You Can See in New York (for Two More Days)," New York magazine
3. Roberta Smith, "As in Life, Timing is Everything in the Movies," New York Times
4. Peter Schjeldahl, "Getting Clocked", The New Yorker (subscription required for online access)
5. Charles Spencer, "One of my favourite artworks of all time," The Telegraph
6. Roberta Smith, "As in Life, Timing is Everything in the Movies," New York Times
7. Roberta Smith, "As in Life, Timing is Everything in the Movies," New York Times
8. Tyler Green, "With 'The Clock,' Christian Marclay plays it again," Modern Art Notes, artinfo.com
9. Molly Stevens, "The art-event bandwagon," Art on My Mind, artallthetime.blogspot.com
10. "Slave to the Rhythm," The Economist
11. Tyler Green, "With 'The Clock,' Christian Marclay plays it again," Modern Art Notes, artinfo.com
12. David Cohen, "You Can't Beat the Clock," artcritical.com
13. Alastair Sooke, "Frieze week exhibitions round-up, reviews," The Telegraph
14. "Jerry Saltz on the Best Movie You Can See in New York (for Two More Days)," New York magazine
15. Peter Schjeldahl, "Getting Clocked", The New Yorker (subscription required for online access)
16. Carol Diehl, "Christian Marclay's 'The Clock'," Carol Diehl's Art Vent, artvent.blogspot.com
17. Ben Davis, "Meditations on Christian Marclay's 'The Clock'," artinfo.com
18. "Jerry Saltz on the Best Movie You Can See in New York (for Two More Days)," New York magazine
19. "Jerry Saltz on the Best Movie You Can See in New York (for Two More Days)," New York magazine
20. Ben Davis, "Meditations on Christian Marclay's 'The Clock'," artinfo.com
21. "Slave to the Rhythm," The Economist

Mike Osborne is an artist based in Austin, Texas. 

project space

Puerto Rico’s Art Scene: Not Only Reggaeton Gets Your Heartbeat Racing!

I always feel great excitement when I find myself in a setting that is both familiar and surprising. This was the case during several recent visits to Puerto Rico in preparation of the Third Poli/Gráfica Triennial of San Juan. The possibility of spending four days in a beautiful Caribbean town like Old San Juan always seems like a splendid plan. Yet the thrilling feeling I enjoyed during my visits to the island was not due to the beautiful ocean, but rather because of the exciting encounters I had with young artists. The art scene in Puerto Rico indeed exceeded all my expectations and sparked my imagination.

Over many decades Puerto Rico has developed one of the leading graphic art scenes, creating workshops, schools and other supportive platforms. The artistic and mentorship traditions that generated in the context of graphic workshops have expanded beyond printmaking into all media and disciplines. During the 1990s artists like Chemi Rosado, Guillermo Calzadilla, and Charles Juhasz-Alvarado—to name a few—distanced themselves from traditional printing practices and established fierce and fresh propositions that impacted the local scene. The present-day Puerto Rican art community is distinguished by its innovative and exhilarating spirit. Although most of my studio visits were interesting, seven mid-career and emerging artists rose above the rest.

I begin with the more established artists, such as Beatriz Santiago Muñoz. Like a thorough anthropologist, Beatriz posseses a keen observation ability that allows her to identify, depict and dissect human relations. Through her video work she documents social exchanges that both reveal the vulnerability of her subjects and speak to the invisible tensions that are intrinsic to our conduct as social beings. Highly aware of her presence when documenting any given situation, she reveals herself to the audience either by becoming a character within the story through interactions with others, or strategically using video to suggest or conceal her presence. In addition to her artistic work, Beatriz co-founded the alternative art space Beta~local along with artist Tony Cruz and curator.

Tony’s work also captured my attention. His subtlety results in imaginative and powerful compositions distinguished by an economy of trace defined by a great sensibility. His work normally begins from a personal feeling or memory that is transformed into abstract and figurative renderings. His skillful use of pencil led me to enjoy graphite on paper as if it was an entirely new medium. Sincerity is normally not used as an adjective to describe an artwork, but in Tony’s case it is this quality that makes his drawings so appealing and rich.

A very different but equally fascinating studio visit was with Michael Linares, whose work is based on conceptual practices. The most interesting work he shared with us was La Sonora (literally translated as The Band), a Spanish-language digital archive of audio compilations of seminal art historical and theoretical essays available online for free. Each album cover is commissioned to different artists, becoming a visual component in each edition. Michael began this project in order to provide access to important (but not widely distributed) works by philosophers and historians to art students. As the project developed he transformed it into an interdisciplinary platform by inviting guest editors to curate each album. This gesture has become a great research resource, while it also provides a fascinating insight into the influences and references that have marked the work of important artists and curators.

During my last day in San Juan I met Carolina Caycedo, a British-Colombian artist currently living in Puerto Rico whose work I have followed for the last year. Carolina’s practice explores the boundaries that define social exchanges. Her actions usually take place in settings outside the art world. She is currently working on the gift economy through the project Red de Trueque Boriken (Puerto Rican Exchange Web). This effort brings together a community of people working in different sectors (service, industry, etc.) to exchange favors, products or services. Carolina is familiar with these kinds of exchanges as they developed elsewhere in Latin America, such as in Argentina after its 2001 economic crisis. Red de Trueque suggests that the possibility to build an economy based on solidarity and generosity of spirit is not necessarily limited to financial meltdowns.

The energy and drive of a younger generation of artists left a lasting impact on me. The work of the artists that I will discuss was particularly compelling, as they all were in the process of expanding their practices through unfamiliar territories. I begin with Rosalin Suero who is currently working on a large installation set in an unused large and empty warehouse owned by a local collector and businessman. Her previous work examined creativity as a resource to avoid boredom and analyzed the nonsensical underpinnings of everyday activities. For her current installation she was given a great canvas to work from: an industrial complex full of unwanted house and office supplies. Unfinished as this piece was when I saw it, she achieved an impressive formal result in rearranging ordinary (and in some cases visually unappealing) items such as chairs, tables or plumbing supplies as if creating theatrical sets.

I met a powerful duo of cheerful street artists that go by the name of La Pandilla (The Gang). Their large-scale work is based on India ink applied on building walls and always depicts animals. They create compositions that are the sum of spontaneous renderings done by each artist on the spot. India ink gives such sharpness to their murals that their traces feel like woodcuts engraved on the wall. Unlike the diverse colorful spray paint generally used in graffiti art, their pieces normally have only a few solid colors that take effect as the backdrop to the thin black lines that give form to amorphous animals shapes.

Last but not least is Frances Gallardo, who openly shared her love affair with paper. For her, paper is not only the medium, but also her muse and subject. She has explored it in many different ways, including an installation of herself shooting paper balls to gallery visitors, and most recently in paper cutouts. These newer works are abstract compositions that she draws on and cuts out of bright monochromatic colored paper. The resulting whimsical and delicate compositions resemble embroidered paper with fine threads that feel as dense and surprising as a scene in Alice in Wonderland.

Although I had visited San Juan de Puerto Rico before and enjoyed the city’s richness, I had never ventured into artists’ studios. The work of the artists I met reflects both the intriguing nature of the country’s history and the fun and energy that dominates the streets of San Juan. The surprising, unrestrained force of its art scene transformed my familiarity with this place and got my heartbeat racing.

Ursula Davila-Villa is Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art at the Blanton Museum of Art.

Announcements: exhibitions

Austin Openings

 Jeff Stanley
Center Space Gallery of the Visual Arts Center on UT Campus
Opening Reception: April 1, 8pm

For the second 2011 Fade In series, the VAC presents a video reel especially created by M.F.A. candidate Jeff Stanley. Stanley will be presenting his work, Re_FX, and this edition of Fade In will only be on view from the window facing Trinity Street. Join us for the unveiling of this video exhibit outside the VAC, along Trinity Street, following the Opening Exhibition for 2011 Student Art and Design Exhibitions.

Apparent Weight: 2011 MFA Studio Art Exhibition
Vaulted and Arcade Galleries of the Visual Arts Center on UT Campus
Opening Reception: April 1, 6-8pm

Apparent weight is a term from physics that indicates an objects relative, perceived weight within a closed system. In an accelerating, ascending elevator, an individual senses a greater downward force than usual; in that moment, that person’s apparent weight has increased. Conversely, underwater, or in free fall, that same person perceives weightlessness. An object’s apparent weight is both quantifiable but shifting, concrete but infinitely variable. A vantage point outside of the system is required to take an accurate measurement of apparent weight. This is because apparent weight is relative to its context; in relationship to artistic production, it would encompass factors like cultural values, art historical frameworks and personal histories. The artists in this exhibition ask the viewer to consider the work’s apparent weight—that is, a weight that is both obviously present and not yet proven.

2011 MFA Design Exhibition
East Gallery of Visual Arts Center on UT Campus
Opening Reception: April 1, 6-8pm

This year’s MFA Design class developed practice-based research out of a curricular framework organized around the theme of mapping. As a design process, mapping encompasses the framing, digging, arraying, and presenting of information, and is a useful way for designers to stake out territory and negotiate space and complex problems. Mapping does not necessarily define the projects represented here, but it serves as an underlying process, reminding us that design is an activity inextricably tied to pragmatic, real-world problems, where solutions emerge by carefully surveying the situation and the materials at hand.

Thomas Benton Hollyman
B. Hollyman Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2, 6-8pm

Some Creatives pulls from the Thomas Benton Hollyman Trust Archive, and focuses on a number of limited original vintage prints; silver gelatin portraits of historical "creatives": Robert Frost, George Balanchine, Frank Lloyd Wright, Marlene Dietrich, Barbara Carr, Jorge Luis Borges, Arthur Miller, Dr. Martin Luther King, Pablo Casals and many others.

Austin on View

Beili Liu
Women and their Work
Through April 2

Thousands of pairs of sewing scissors create an intervention in the gallery when arranged by Beili Liu. Liu's large format installation/performance takes over the space it occupies. The repetitive process she uses gives an immersive and powerful effect.

Barry Stone
SOFA Gallery
Through April 9

Barry Stone’s exhibition of photographs and drawings, Hum, distorts sets of polarities: feminine and masculine, the ballad and metal music, the drawn image and the mechanical image, youth and adulthood. Often, the pictures are paired together to create tension or to complicate meaning. An image is so rarely read alone.

Graham Hudson
Through April 10

British artist Graham Hudson, whose sculptures often include scaffolding, shipping pallets, scrap wood, discarded windows, and vintage turntables, will recreate a portion of the stage of the famous Astoria Theatre (London, demolished 2009) in the renovated space of Arthouse’s 2nd floor gallery. Constructed of scaffolding, the ghost-like replica will double as a sculpture and performance space, as it will be utilized as a rehearsal stage by local bands.

Jules Buck Jones
Through April 16

Employing a larger-than-life presence intrinsic to the changing dialogue between man and the animal kingdom, his characters continue to center around the hawk, fox, owl, and toad. Depicting these animals without their eyes invites the idea of transformation as each drawing becomes a potential shell for one to enter, wear, or maneuver. The illusion of hollowness is created in response to a fascination with the desire, and sometimes unintentional urge, to actually become the animal. This opens up a new direction which allows for the addition of new media to complement Jones' rhythmic drawing style.

Deanna Templeton and Ed Templeton
Domy Books
Through April 28

This is the second two-person show for Ed and Deanna Templeton, two artists living together as husband and wife in Huntington Beach, California, a famous surfing locale. Ed and Deanna Templeton both document their surroundings, and the people and places they visit in their extensive travels. The suburbia they live in serves as a provocation for the work they make.

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler
Lora Reynolds Gallery
Through May 7

Cinema, the subtleties of its components and its history form the core of Hubbard/Birchler’s artistic work. This exhibition will feature new photographs as well as the Texas premiere of Hubbard/Birchler’s most recent video installation titled Méliès. Set in the Chihuahua Desert of West Texas near the border town of Sierra Blanca, this video explores the cinematic residue of a specific location named Movie Mountain.

New Art in Austin: 15 to Watch
Austin Museum of Art
Through May 22

New Art in Austin: 15 to Watch is the fourth exhibition in a triennial showcase that spotlights emerging artists from Central Texas whose work stretches the boundaries of contemporary art. Accompanied by a full-color scholarly catalogue, the exhibition will bring cutting edge work in a variety of media to a broad audience.

Recovering Beauty: The 1990s in Buenos Aires
Blanton Museum of Art
Through May 22

Organized by The Blanton, Recovering Beauty: The 1990s in Buenos Aires will be the first comprehensive presentation of art produced during the 1990s in Buenos Aires, a time of pivotal transformation in Argentina. The exhibition will focus on the work of artists identified as the “arte light” group, which rose to prominence during this decade.

Austin Closings

Sarah Stevens
Through March 25

Comprised of a four week cycle of installation vignettes, Palatial Hemorrhages is an investigation of incidental personal topographies; an earnest grandiosity amassed in the nature of cigarettes and hairspray used up but never thrown out, or Wilt Chamberlain’s Hollywood home after a forty year carpet moth infestation.

Michelle Handelman
Through March 27

Inspired by Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Michelle Handelman’s Dorian, a cinematic perfume is a four-channel video installation thatfollows a young woman’s hallucinatory journey through the dark and decadent underworld of New York City’s gender-bending drag and burlesque scene.

Modern Civilization
grayDUCK Gallery
Through March 27

This show explores the boundaries, environments and landscapes our modern society has created. Whether the artist reaches back to the past or contemplates the present, they see it through modern and complex eyes. Modern Civilization features graphite drawings from Dieter Geisler, acrylic paintings from Suchitra Mattai and Andrew Sloan, and gouache paintings by Ronald Walker.

Lisa Tan
Through March 27

Lisa Tan’s conceptual practice is grounded in the examination of emotional drives. This exhibition includes works in a variety of media that address romanticism and loss through a diverse group of protagonists drawn from literature and film as well as the artist herself.

San Antonio Openings

Richie Budd
Unit B Gallery
Opening Reception: Friday, March 18, 6:30-10pm

All I Have to Give, Richie Budd's exhibit, is a series of the artist's four extracted wisdom teeth showcased on individual pedetals. The only explanation given by Mr. Budd is that he has been thinking a lot lately about oral traditions and how wisdom is spread through word of mouth and that he hopes you will, too.

IAIR 11:1
Opening Reception: March 24

E.V. Day's deconstructive style puts all clothing at risk, from women's undergarments to wedding gowns. Devon Dikeou seeks to "reiterate or re-enrich Conceptual models in their physical reality, often reinterpreting these models through an autobiographical twist." Kelly Richardson's computer-generated videos and photographic works serve to obscure the limits between fantasy and reality. Curated by Heather Pesant

San Antonio on View

Erick Jackson
Sala Diaz
Through April 10

Ever-inspired by the romantic notion that a gifted, perhaps misunderstood loner, creatively following the dictates of his inspiration rather than the mores of contemporary society, is to be revered and celebrated, Jackson marries his childhood memory with an imagined, other world.

Gabriel Vormstein
Through May 1

Gabriel Vormstein is interested in exploring the relationship between figuration and abstraction. Inspired by the work of Egon Schiele, he reexamines the romantic, emotionally charged gestures found in early Modernist painting. By redrawing figures found in art history, Vormstein captures the body as an abstract shape that can be filled with new choices of color and medium, such as the ground of newspapers, and more particularly, the mechanical text of the financial pages.

Michael Jay Smith
McNay Art Museum
Through May 1

To create Symmetry in Rhythm, Michael Jay Smith recorded the group Urban-15 at Luminaria, San Antonio’s arts night of March 13, 2010. By first shooting the elaborate performance, moving the camera to the beat of the music, and then modifying the footage digitally, Smith transformed color, light, and movement into a kaleidoscopic dream. Slight changes in the original footage, often result in dramatically different images. Smith’s work is inspired by the beauty of symmetry, referencing mandalas and stained glass rose windows found in cathedrals.

Joshua Bienko
Through May 1

Joshua Bienko exposes the fetishistic nature of sports, music, and fashion through stylistically diverse drawings, paintings, photography, and video works. His diverse practice often references popular cultural icons such as contemporary artists, poster pinup girls, rap songs, and sports logos. Through this unique juxtaposition of imagery and object, he emphasizes the relationship between fame and desire with art stars and the fashion industry.

New Image Sculpture
The McNay
Through May 8

Organized by the McNay’s Chief Curator and Curator of Art after 1945, New Image Sculpture assembles works by emerging and mid-career artists who freely appropriate from art history, ethnographic artifacts, fashion, folk art, hobby crafts, popular culture, and the world of do-it-yourself. Included is Austin collected, Okay Mountain.

Houston Openings

Michael Bise
Moody Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 26, 6-8pm

This exhibition follows up his Holy Ghosts! exhibition in 2009 as he continues his practice of creating large, formally complex images based on incidents from his own life. Using personal memories and family stories, Bise makes drawings that address larger cultural realities such as child abuse, aging, religious fervor, and the strange experience of childhood.

Carmen Flores
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Receptions: April 22, 2011, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Carmen Flores' drawings explore the proliferation of violence in the culture and its impact on the human psyche. The imagery in Flores' work is drawn from personal safety tutorials, police reports and press accounts of violence drawn in graphite and chalk.

Leigh Merrill
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Receptions: April 22, 2011, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Leigh Merrill's work is driven by an interest in regionalism and the cultural signifiers of particular places. She has photographed the places where she has lived, motivated by curiosity about the architecture that surrounds us and how it reflects larger ideas of beauty, class, romanticism and perfection.

Marc Bell & Jim Woodring
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Receptions: April 22, 2011, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Some artists record the world, some interpret it, and some distort it. A few, like Jim Woodring and Marc Bell, create their own worlds. They represent a certain strain in modern comics-a world of fantasy influenced by childrens books, pre-war newspaper comic strips and illustration, and contemporary art.

Hillerbrand+Magsamen, Daniel McFarlane & Anthony Thompson Shumate
Lawndale Art Center
Opening Receptions: April 22, 2011, 6:30 - 8:30 PM

This exhibition features residents for the fifth year of the Lawndale Artist Studio Program, Hillerbrand+Magsamen (Stephan Hillerbrand and Mary Magsamen), Daniel McFarlane and Anthony Thompson Shumate. The exhibit includes abstract paintings, video art, and installations.

Houston on View

Okay Mountain
Blaffer Art Museum
Through April 2

For their exhibition at the Blaffer, Okay Mountain explores the methods and rituals held in common by otherwise isolated groups—from followers of self-help messiahs to fundamentalist cults to Fortune 500 companies—who “employ a combination of initiation, insider/outsider mentality, esoteric language, and a hierarchy of progressive advancement to inspire a streamlined, new identity that supersedes the complexities of everyday existence.

Heimir Björgúlfsson
CTRL Gallery
Through April 2

In his new collage works, Björgúlfsson transforms photographs taken as records of his varying environment. One reality punctuates another, creating impossible scenarios.

Jim Nolan
Art Palace
Through April 2

In his debut show at Art Palace, Today is Tomorrow, Jim Nolan combines the aesthetics of working class labor and underground music culture with the language of Minimalism to create off-hand and irreverent installations, sculptures and photographs.

Carlos Cruz-Diez
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through April 6

For more than five decades, Carlos Cruz-Diez (born 1923) has experimented intensively with the origins and optics of color. His wide-ranging body of work includes unconventional color structures, light environments, street interventions, architectural integration projects, and experimental works that engage the response of the human eye while insisting on the participatory nature of color. The MFAH and the Cruz-Diez Foundation, Houston, present the first large-scale retrospective of this pioneering Franco-Venezuelan artist.

Man Bartlett
Through April 9

SKYDIVE is pleased to present NEW SOME, an exhibition and performance by New York artist Man Bartlett. For his Texas debut, Bartlett will be exhibiting a selection of his drawings – comprised of thousands of tiny circles or dots – and new collages, which are crafted from travel magazine advertisements of the 1950s and '60s.

2011 Core Exhibition
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Through April 22

The 2011 Core Exhibition features work by artists-in-residence Nick Barbee; Lourdes Correa-Carlo; Fatima Haider; Steffani Jemison; Gabriel Martinez; Julie Ann Nagle; Kelly Sears; and Clarissa Tossin. Core critical studies residents Massa Lemu, Melissa Ragain, Julie Thomson, and Wendy Vogel contribute essays based on their independent research to the Core 2011 Yearbook publication that accompanies the show (forthcoming April, 2011).

John Wood & Paul Harrison
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Through April 24

Answers to Questions: John Wood & Paul Harrison will be the first United States museum survey of work in video by this British artistic team. Wood and Harrison use a wide variety of props, often including their own bodies, to create short video vignettes that highlight the inventive play behind all art, even in its most minimal and conceptual strains. Well known throughout Europe and Asia, and especially in their native England, where they have collaborated since 1993, Wood and Harrison’s imaginative, inventive, and often hilarious shorts will be an exciting new discovery for American audiences.

Chad Hopper and Amanda Jones
Domy Books
Through May 5

In acrobatic acts of blind alchemy they mix wood whispers and plastic gossip. Animals take over abandoned office buildings, leading us to explore the mysteries lurking between pictures and words.

Mary Temple
Rice Gallery
Through May 25

Mary Temple paints directly on walls and floors creating installations that not only trick the eye, but also trigger memory by freezing a fleeting moment of passing time. Upon encountering a Mary Temple light installation, it is common for viewers to stick out a hand in an attempt to block the light they perceive as falling on the wall before them. Yet after a few moments of hand waving, they realize that the shards and patches of light they see are, in fact, painted on the wall. This moment of confusion is what Mary Temple calls the “not-knowing,” that moment when memory collides with experience causing the viewer to question what is real. Temple has refined her trompe l’oeil painting technique to convince the eye, mind, and body that somehow light has been captured, and so it has, in hundreds of thousands of tiny brushstrokes

Houston Closings

Johan Grimonprez
Blaffer Art Museum
Through April 2

Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed films and video installations dance on the border of art and cinema, documentary and fiction, practice and theory. Mixing reality and fiction in an innovative fashion and presenting history as a construct readily open to manipulation, Grimonprez asks us every so often to pause, do a double take, and to reconsider our assumptions. Acting as a media archeologist and suggesting new narratives through which to tell our histories, the artist emphasizes the co-existence of a multiplicity of realities.

Heyd Fontenot
Inman Gallery
Through April 2

Heyd Fontenot's exhibit "It's A Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude, Nude World" is a series of drawings on paper by pencil and ink. It raises questions about the human figure and perhaps its role in history.

Tony Smith
The Menil
Through April 2

A selection of rarely exhibited and early drawings by American artist Tony Smith (1912-1980), the work, executed within a limited time-period in the 1950’s, precedes Smith's emergence as one of the most important sculptors of the mid-twentieth-century, following his career as an architectural designer.

Dallas Openings

Jay Shinn
Marty Walker Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, April 2, 6-8pm

In his new exhibition, Centerfolds, Jay Shinn deftly manipulates space, light, shadow, and shape with sharp minimalist work that actively alters viewer's perceptions by continuously shifting between two-and-three-dimensional planes. His arrangements imply movement and balance as they evoke pathways, thresholds, and mandala-like plans while also inviting the viewer to understand each form by approaching it from different positions.

Jim Lambie
Goss Michael Foundation
Opening April 12

Jim Lambie has discussed the relationship between the tape works and the solid objects they incorporate in terms of a jazz ensemble, comparing the tape to the “baseline played by the drums and bass” and the pieces placed on top to the “guitar and vocals.

Dallas on View

Michel Verjux, Sour Grapes, Gabriel Dawe, and David Willburn
Dallas Contemporary
Through March 27

Current exhibitions at Dallas Contemporary include Michel Verjux, Sour Grapes, Gabriel Dawe, and David Willburn

Royal Robertson
Webb Gallery
Through April 17

A retrospective. Robertson worked primarily on poster board using magic markers, tempera paint, colored pencils, ball point pens and glitter. Many of his pieces are double sided and in addition to works on paper; he adorned his home with murals, signs, and shrines of space sexy ladies,space men, signs with his troubled thoughts on women, warnings of the end of times, and biblical texts.

Ed Ruscha
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Through April 17

Since Ruscha's first road trip from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles in 1956, the artist has continued to engage the images he has encountered along the roads of the western United States. Consisting of approximately 75 works, spanning the artist's entire career, Ed Ruscha: Road Tested tracks key images inspired by his admitted love of driving. "I like being in the car, and seeing things from that vantage point," Ruscha has said. "Sometimes I give myself assignments to go out on the road and explore different ideas."

Dallas Closings

Virginia Fleck
Holly Johnson Gallery
Through March 26

Virginia Fleck's mandalas are intricately crafted, large-scaled works that reference painting, but are created by collaging pieces of detritus from a consumerist society in a way that exposes the efforts of advertisers to influence the masses.

Brazos Gallery, Richland College
Through March 27

The exhibition contains undulating video patterning, meticulously crafted narratives, and spatial/perceptual inquiries. The vibrant and multi-faceted art works challenge and captivate viewers, while avoiding prescribed methodologies.

New York Openings

Connections: A Tribute to Ted Pillsbury
Gerald Peters Gallery
Opening Reception: March 24, 6-8PM

It has been one year since the death of Ted Pillsbury, once the curator of Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Connections is an exhibit that pays homage to Pillsbury and his artistic acquisitions.

New York on View

An Exchange with Sol LeWitt
MASS MoCA & Cabinet
MASS MoCA Closing: March 31

In addition to encouraging the circulation of artworks through a gift economy that challenged the art world’s dominant economic model, LeWitt’s exchanges with friends and strangers have the same qualities of generosity and risk that characterized his work in general. In the spirit of continuing the artist’s lifelong philosophy of open exchange, and in conjunction with the “LeWitt Wall Drawing Retrospective” on view at MASS MoCA through 2033, MASS MoCA and Cabinet present “An Exchange with Sol LeWitt”—a curatorial project initiated by independent curator Regine Basha.

Announcements: events

Austin Events

Inflammatory Images and the Politics of Sex: Panel Discussion
Thursday, March 24 at 6:30pm

Stimulated by many conversations generated by Arthouse’s presentation of Michelle Handelman’s four-channel video work, Dorian, a cinematic perfume, we are organizing a public panel to address the important, relevant topics that are currently being discussed in our community. Handelman will participate. Important discussion that should not be missed.

Wimberley Event

D berman Gallery Grand Relocation Celebration
D berman Gallery
Saturday, March 26, 4-7pm

Dberman Gallery is excited to open their new gallery space with a group show featuring work by selected gallery artists such as Ellen Berman, Malcolm Bucknall, Jeff Dell, Faith Gay, George Krause, Catherine Lee, Lance Letscher, Beili Liu, Katie Maratta, Denny McCoy, Gladys Poorte, Naomi Schlinke, Shawn Smith, W. Tucker, and Sydney Yeager. Sugar Bayou Band will also be there to entertain with music on the front patio.

San Antonio Events

Sala Diaz Fundraiser
Sala Diaz
Saturday, March 19, 7pm

Please save the date for a Sala Diaz fundraiser, Saturday March 19, 2011. This time we’ll do it at the compound with music provided by Buttercup and DJ John Mata. We’re calling it The Long Table of Love. With this title we embrace the still evolving social sculpture that is the compound, Sala’s fifteen year part in it and the spirit of our friend and co-conspirator Chuck Ramirez. Rick Frederick will serve as Master of Ceremonies. A number of artists will supply altered bicycle helmets to be auctioned that evening.

Distinguished Lecture Roberta Smith
The McNay
Thursday, March 24, 6:30 pm
Admission: Distinguished Lecture fee for McNay members is $7; for nonmembers $15. Educators and students with an ID pay only $5

Roberta Smith, senior art critic for the New York Times, analyzes the craft, process, and use of art criticism in her conversation with the audience.

Houston Events

James Zemaitis: Lecture
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - 6:30PM
Admission: Free

When it comes to the auction market for design, not all masterworks are created equal. Why is one Noguchi stool worth $100,000 and another Saarinen stool worth $10? Join Sotheby's James Zemaitis as he discusses issues of provenance, rarity and the fluctuations of the market using case studies ranging from American mid-century modern to the evolving contemporary design market.

Design Fair 2011
Lawndale Art Center
March 30 - April 3, 2011

Design Fair 2011 features vintage modern objects of the 20th century as well as cutting edge contemporary design. The best in design for furniture, glass, ceramics, lighting, books, metalwork and fashion will be for sale to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Contemporary Salon - Johan Grimonprez
Blaffer Art Museum
March 23, 6:30 - 8pm

Join Blaffer Art Museum and the UH Mitchell Center for a salon-style discussion of Blaffer's current winter exhibition, "Johan Grimonprez: It’s a Poor Sort of Memory that Only Works Backwards." The talk will feature guest panelists with a variety of expertise in the arts, and it will be preceded by a wine-and-cheese reception. Admission is FREE.

Menil Community Arts Festival
The Menil
Saturday, April 2, 11am - 5pm

The Menil Collection museum and a group of surrounding non-profit arts organizations come together to host a free afternoon of art and entertainment that will extend across the Menil “campus” from West Alabama to Richmond Avenue. Highlighting the diversity of the Menil neighborhood arts community the festival will include films and performances, from chamber music to literary readings, performances and workshops.

Dallas Events

Dallas Art Fair
April 8-10, 2011

Celebrating modern and contemporary art, the third annual 2011 Dallas Art Fair will showcase paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and photographs by modern and contemporary artists represented from more than 60 prominent national and international art dealers. There are 15 Texas galleries participating.

Mary Ellen Carroll
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
March 22, 7pm

Mary Ellen Carroll is a conceptual artist living and working in New York City and Houston, Texas, whose career, spanning more than 20 years, has focused on a single, fundamental question: What do we consider a work of art? The results are multifarious, provocative, and often wry outpourings in architecture, writing, performance, photography, filmmaking, printmaking, sculpture, and painting that interrogate the relationship between subjectivity, language, and power.

Marfa Events

The Reading
Ballroom Marfa
March 26

Ballroom Marfa is pleased to announce the launch of The Reading, a professionally staged screenplay presentation that, in its inaugural year, spotlights a winning script from the prestigious 2010 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, which is presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Announcements: opportunities

Call for Entries

The 8th Vevey International Photo Award
Festival Images
Deadline: April 15

Open to all artists, and professional or student photographers. An amount of CHF 40,000 (around EUR 30,000) is awarded for the development, realization and presentation of the winning project. There is also the potential to win other prizes and receive exhibitions proposals.

Call for Proposals

New Media Art & Sound Summit 2011
Church of the Friendly Ghost
Deadline: Friday, April 1

NMASS draws attention to thoughtful, impressive emerging creativity in Austin, the state of Texas, and across the US. NMASS will feature the clever, progressive efforts of local musicians and artists, celebrate Austin's creative culture, and offer opportunities for artists and audiences to engage with a few featured guests from outside of Texas. To apply, click here.

UTSA Satellite Space Gallery Call For Proposals
UTSA Satellite Space Gallery
Deadline: March 25

The UTSA Satellite Space is currently accepting proposals for exhibitions from November 2011 – February 2012.

Residency Opportunities

John Michael Kohler Arts/Industry Residency
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Deadline: Friday, April 1

Arts/Industry is undoubtedly the most unusual on-going collaboration between art and industry in the United States. Hundreds of emerging and established visual artists have benefited from the Arts/Industry program at Kohler Co. since its inception in 1974. Participants are exposed to a body of technical knowledge that enables them to explore forms and concepts not possible in their own studios as well as new ways of thinking and working. Artists-in-residence may work in the Kohler Co. Pottery, Iron and Brass Foundries, and Enamel Shop to develop a wide variety of work in clay, enameled cast iron, and brass including but not limited to murals and reliefs, temporary or permanent site-specific installations, and functional and sculptural forms. For more information and to apply, click here.

Artist Opportunities


GenerousArt.org is an online gallery dedicated to raising money for nonprofits and artists. Generous Art envisions art purchases as community-oriented transactions — rejecting the idea that art collection is a selfish endeavor, an isolated event; and replaces time-consuming auction fundraisers with a sustainable and socially responsible purchase.

Job Opportunities

Department Chair of Art and Art History
The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas seeks an accomplished leader with proven abilities in managing internal and external changes that will advance the quality, relevance, and reputation of UT's visual arts program. The Department of Art and Art History is seeking an academically and artistically forward-thinking individual to advance its outstanding faculty and student body.

Send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and references to:

Chair A&AH Search Committee
The University of Texas at Austin
College of Fine Arts
1 University Station D1400
Austin, Texas 78712-1208

Volunteer Opportunities

Art Alliance Austin
Art City Austin
April 2-3

Art Alliance Austin's flagship event (formerly the Austin Fine Arts Festival) is always a popular and exciting volunteer opportunity, but this year's fair will offer chances not only to experience something new and exciting - participation will mean making history. Register to volunteer here.

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